- Why should you be concerned about young worker safety?
- What can you do to improve the safety record for young workers?
|Why should you be concerned about young worker safety?
- From January 1st, 2006 to December 31st, 2010, 34 Ontario workers under the age of 25 lost their lives on the job.
Source: Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)
- In 2009, 28,709 young workers filed injury claims with the WSIB. Of those, 7,527 were lost time injuries, meaning the injury was severe enough to require the worker to lose at least one day of work.
Source: Young Worker Statistics, WSIB
Your roles and responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety Act are quite clear,
but you should pay special attention to them when it comes to training and supervising young workers.
Most workers under the age of 25 come to you with little prior work experience. They have yet to
discover their limits and capabilities and always act and react like a seasoned veteran, simply because
they don't have experience in making work-related decisions. The workplace can be a dangerous place
to rely on trial and error to find answers. Besides your role as employer, you also need to take on the roles of teacher, guide and mentor.
The payoff is big. Young workers can provide you with an energetic, enthusiastic workforce full
of new ideas that can feed into your company. Training and preparing them properly will also result
in workers who are less likely to be injured on the job than their peers in other workplaces.
|What can you do to improve the safety record for young workers?
Did you know that there are minimum ages for teens to work in Ontario workplaces and some
restrictions on their being present in your workplace (if not working)? Find out more...
Your Health and Safety at Work: Your Rights and Responsibilties: Minimum age requirements.
Here's a few places to learn more.
- Although geared to organizations that bring in teen volunteers, there's some excellent
guidance material in this section for any workplace that has a young workforce:
A Guide For Sponsoring Organizations.
- Get familiar with legislation respecting employers. For instance, see Section 25 and 26 of the OHSA.
- Find out the basics provided to young workers on this website: My Boss, Safety and Me.
- Do your homework! There are terrific websites with information just for you.
Most material is free, so get to know what's out there to help you keep Ontario's young people
safe at work. Protecting Myself.
Remember: While you're protecting someone else's teen at work, another employer may
be looking after yours. We all have to make sure we do our best to provide excellent training
Office of the Employer Advisor (WSIB issues)